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How Will RIM Filter Pornographic Content Over BES and MDS?

see no evil hear no evil speak no evil

Setting aside whether blocking and filtering content on the internet is an exercise in futility I have another question for RIM. How exactly do they plan on blocking or filtering pornographic content that is browsed through a BES/MDS connection? All of that traffic is encrypted (part of the BES solution) all the way to the BES server which can be located anywhere in the world and cannot be read by RIM (at least that is what they promise the government and corporations). In other words anybody with a BES server can easily bypass this new filter…

So I have to ask how in the world RIM plans on implementing the pornographic filter they have promised to Indonesia? Could that be one of the conditions that RIM is trying to get Indonesia to accept? Honestly I think RIM has a good case because any $5/month VPN service would let you bypass filters just as easily so I really have to ask what the point is. I really want to meet the team at RIM that has to deal with these government requests. I feel like it must be a real field day trying to explain to them how the internet works…

On the other hand I get a feeling that all of these countries are getting on RIM’s case just because they want RIM to setup datacenters and service centers in their country. It does kind of make sense since it brings good jobs to their country but that has to suck for RIM.

8 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. As you noted its a futile effort really. I think they’re just keeping Indonesia happy. There will be freedom of speech advocates that are unhappy but not many will raise their voices over porn. Sounds like a simple business decision.

    Being no expert on Indonesian politics this sounds like a stunt on their governments part to promote a “morality” policy

  2. Not only good jobs, but good taxes as well :mrgreen:
    Anyway, the deadline is 21 January, so we shall see

  3. It’s actually not that difficult to do (content filtering). Most North American Carriers offer that to their customers – quietly and discreetly. This is so that parents can gift a phone to a minor and, more or less, ensure that the kid won’t get into too much trouble.

    There is a company called Flash Networks, for example, which provides this technology (it sits within the network itself so that “little Johnny” can’t undo it). This system refers to a categorization engine made by the likes of RuleSpace (now owned by Symantec) which uses a combination of known sites and certain proprietry algorithms to detect certain types of content (not just porn).

    The thing is – no carrier charges for this, so it’s really just ‘overhead’. RIM was finally bludgeoned into doing something that the majority of North American carriers already provide.

    Check out http://www.fosi.org for more information on the groups influencing your goverments, world-wide.

    –TTune

  4. It takes nothing more than some deep packet analysis code combined with x-rated image recognition software. Then
    if (img.contains(pr0n.get(“wiener”)))
    drop packet;
    else if (img.contains(pr0n.get(“jugs”)))
    drop packet;

    Seriously though, some countries are so ridiculous it’s not funny. I’m not sure how much $$ India and Indonesia would get from tourists. But I for one would never visit such places solely based on the control they are forcing RIM to give them over their people.

    • Well, true on that point, but to actually read what people type, I feel that its ridiculous.. And invasion of our privacy.

      • See but that does not work on BES servers. The HTTP connection is encrypted from your device all the way through RIM’s NOC to your company or hosting providers BES server and then out through that internet connection. To Indonesia and RIM all it looks like is garbled text with a routing header.

  5. Maybe RIM is just telling them that they can do this stuff and laughing at them behind their backs. Kinda like you tell someone something just to get out of the conversation and hope that it doesn’t come back to bite you in the butt.

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